Background. Health care professionals need further background knowledge to encounter the parents/guardians from their perspective in their minors’ health care. The parents/guardians possibility to manage the situations is dependent on their receiving optimal information, which is why it is important to study how information is exchanged.
Objective. To identify, describe and conceptualize how parents/guardians resolved their main concern in information exchange with health care professionals in paediatric care situations involving their minors.
Methods. The grounded theory method was used and all data were analysed using constant comparative analysis. The observational study took place at three paediatric outpatient units at a university hospital and twenty four parents/guardians participated. Data sources were field notes from 37 observations of paediatric care situations and adherent excerpts from the minors’ medical records.
Results. Firm handling revealed as the way the parents/guardians resolved their main concerns when they were exchanging information in their minors’ paediatric care. Firm handling is built on five inter-related categories: representative advocating, collaborating, aim sharing, supportive resourcing and minor bypassing.
Conclusions. This knowledge renders possibilities to the health care professionals to design paediatric care that supports, facilitates, strengthens and improves the parents’/guardians’ firm handling. The key issue is to find ways to support parents/guardians and minors so they can participate in health care encounters according to their preferences. Firm handling give an opportunity to both reinforce parenthood in paediatric care and invite minors to participate.